This is week 4 in our continuing "worship experiment" in our midweek youth services. Back on April 18, we decided to move the band behind the crowd. In other words, when students look forward, all they see is the wall where we project the words. No vocalists. No musicians. No amps. No drums. Just words about loving God, serving God, worshiping God.
Initially, we caught flack from a few teens who aren't used to this notion. They felt uncomfortable because they couldn't watch the guitarist or drummer play. They felt weird closing their eyes or lifting up their hands during this segment of the service.
Well, tonight we took our experiment one step further and did a full "worship night" event. We did two extended sets of musical worship, but we added some extra elements. Isabelle is the student who usually prays for our offering; this week she also read some scripture from 2 Corinthians 9. Other students and leaders came up to read portions of scripture, some focused directly on worship, others talking about how awesome God is or how He meets our needs.
We anticipated ending around 8:10, with some food and fellowship time at the end. But we ended up going until almost 8:30, so our homemade brownies were consumed while we did end-of-service teardown in our modular.
Is our experiment working? I think so. Our band has been freer over the last 4 weeks than it has been in a long, long time. They're more confident and focused. Our crowd has more participation, and more students seem comfortable doing things beyond just clapping or singing. More are closing their eyes, lifting up their hands. Really cool stuff.